The feast that we celebrate today is not easy to understand.
The fact that Jesus left His Apostles alone
requires an explanation. The life of the Apostles was
anchored to Jesus; they lost Him once in his death,
and now they lose Him a second time.
When the Apostles began following the Lord, they
believed that he would be with them for a long
time; all things were connected to Him. How could
Jesus leave them, and where was He going?
Abandonment is closely connected with the process
of adults’ maturation in their spiritual lives. Sometimes,
it is necessary that after a time of preparation
our teachers or our parents will leave us alone to test
their teachings as we walk along the path we
choose. But the truth is that we are not alone, we
carry with us everywhere we go the knowledge and
the teachings of our own experiences of Christ.
Our parents, our teachers and the Lord Jesus return
to us at specific moments of our lives to check on us,
to see how we have matured, to encourage, and to
see how we live as they taught us.
Jesus does the same with His Apostles. In His absence,
He gives them opportunities to grow personally
and spiritually. He will not leave them alone, beside
His spiritual presence. He sends the Holy Spirit to
continue and complete the work He himself had
began in them. The Holy Spirit will remind them of
everything that Jesus taught them, and will give to
them a better and more profound understanding of
the message of Christ.
The absence of Jesus is an opportunity for us to continue
to do His work because as we read in the New
Testament, the work of redemption is achieved by
Jesus’ disciples as they continue the work of God.
Where is He going, to where does Jesus ascend?
Heaven is His place because He comes from
heaven and is returning there. Jesus not only shows
us the place where we can one day live, but He
also leads the way. He fulfills His promises: I am going
to prepare a place for you, so where I am you also
In the Ascension, Jesus accomplished two things
that we cannot do on our own: He left
(empowering the Apostles) and He remained (with
them by means of His spiritual and sacramental
presence). He never abandoned those whom He
loved: I will be with you always to the end of the
We are never alone. Jesus is with us, even when He
seems to leave, even when we cannot see his presence.
In that way, He entrusted His mission, and His
message of salvation.